The University of Jaffna Teachers’ Association (UTA) is in a helpless situation after undergraduates have threatened and got a scheduled lecture canceled.
undergraduate students have protested a scheduled speech by lawyer Swasthika Arulingam on the grounds that she had previously made comments critical of the LTTE.
The University students protested in front of the Teachers union president’s office and the authorities were quick to cancel the scheduled lecture to avoid an ‘unpleasant situation’
The UTA also withdrew its statement that emphasized the need to uphold academic freedom. However “We believe that we should have academic freedom and freedom of speech in the university, otherwise, there is no point in having a university,” Prof Iyngaran told the Sunday Times.
Ms. Arulingam, a trade unionist and activist, had been due to speak on “Judicial Independence in Times of Crisis” at an event organized by the UoJ’s Law Department.
She maintained that, by canceling it, the UoJ had “sent a message not just to me but to society at large that any alternative opinions to that of the LTTE will not be tolerated within the university space”.